Second notice filed in move to recall mayor

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A second effort to recall embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has started, according to a memo issued Monday by the City Clerk's Office.

City Clerk Elizabeth Maland said land use consultant Michael Pallamary filed a recall notice with the clerk's office, and participants will be able to start collecting recall petition signatures Aug. 18.

In a legal notice published in U-T San Diego Sunday, Pallamary wrote that Filner should be recalled because his office took $100,000 from a developer to switch positions on setbacks for a Kearny Mesa apartment complex — money that was later returned. The notice also accused Filner of having his San Diego police security team accompany him at taxpayer expense on a personal visit to Paris, ignoring City Council votes, being divisive and disruptive and using a police officer to kick one of the city's top lawyers out of a closed- session meeting, among other things.

“Mayor Filner has created chaos and a hostile environment since taking office,” Pallamary wrote in the notice.

With respect to sexual harassment allegations that have dogged Filner for more than two weeks, Pallamary noted that the mayor has failed to maintain the dignity of the mayor's office, has created liability for the city and “does not have the respect of the majority of the members of the City Council.”

Maland said Pallamary will have until Sept. 26 to collect nearly 102,000 valid signatures on his recall petitions, equal to 15 percent of the registered voters in San Diego.

City Council President Todd Gloria said in a radio interview today that the effort to remove Filner from office has revealed flaws in the City Charter regarding San Diego's form of government, which was adopted by voters and took effect in 2006.

That includes the question of whether it is legal to have two recall efforts targeting the same office-holder at the same time, Gloria said on KPBS.

Stampp Corbin, the owner and publisher of LGBT Weekly, signaled his intent to start a recall campaign last week, but he has been accused in published reports of doing so to try to derail Pallamary's effort.

The City Attorney's Office is studying whether multiple recall campaigns are allowed.

Gloria also said the City Council can't impeach the mayor, who can only leave office if he resigns, is recalled or is convicted of a felony.

Council members also can't remove a mayor if he become physically unable to continue in office, he said.

Amendments to the City Charter might be put before the voters to correct the situation, but that may not be until next year, according to Gloria.

“I want to be cautious because institutions are designed to withstand personalities and we have a difficult personality now,” Gloria said. “We shouldn't make any radical changes based on one person.”

The City Council will also likely have to amend the municipal code on recall elections, which requires voters to answer the recall question for their selection of a replacement candidate to be counted. A similar state law was struck down a decade ago.

If the council members change the recall code section, however, it would require Filner's signature to take effect.

Categories: KUSI